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The Therapist of Oz

We’re Off to See the Therapist!

Clients come to therapy with many different

expectations, wants, and needs.

Some people want their therapist to just

be there and listen to them…an experience

they don’t get very often and one they need to

be able to understand themselves better.

Some people come to therapy thinking that

the therapist will be able to fix their problems.

Others aren’t sure exactly what to expect,

aren’t sure what they want or need…they

just have a sense that something is missing

or just isn’t working anymore.

The Therapist of Oz

It dawns on me weekly that therapy is very

much like that story of The Wizard of Oz.

People come to therapy searching for many

things:  happiness, peace, healing, relief,

the ability to become powerful in their own lives,

the ability to stop doing things they don’t want to do,

the ability to start doing things they do want to do.

Just like the lion, the tinman, the scarecrow, and even

Dorothy…they are searching for love, for courage,

for empowerment, to feel finally like they belong in this

world they would like to feel like and call “Home.”

The Wizard:  Fraud or Freud?

There’s that wonderful line from the

Dewey Bunnell song, The TinMan:

“Oz never did give nothing to the tinman

that he didn’t, didn’t already have…”

And therapy is often just like this.

Yes, therapists can tell you things about your

diagnosis or about the current knowledge of the

field that you didn’t know before.

And therapists can teach you how to do certain

things, like set goals, keep behavior charts,

practice assertiveness techniques, learn how

to resolve conflicts effectively and much more.

But mainly, good therapists simply remind you

and make you aware of qualities, strengths, and

abilities that were there all along.

Just Click Your Heels…

If you are human, you have the ability to love.

You have the ability to determine for yourself

what is right and healthy for you.

You have the ability to be appropriately courageous,

assertive and protective of what matters to you.

You have the ability to trust others, to be more

open and vulnerable and “yourself” with others.

You have the ability to learn and know that

you matter in this world, that you have a home.

Your therapist isn’t going to give these abilities

to you.  He or she may just remind you that you

have them at your disposal, give you some pointers

in how to use them and convince you that you need

to practice because you might be a “little rusty.”

Let’s Head Down That Yellow Brick Road

If you’re in therapy or contemplating seeing a therapist

to help you resolve a problem or issue in your life,

keep in mind that you’ll be the one doing most of the work.

Remember the Wizard never left Emerald City…everyone

else had to go on the tough journeys to complete tasks

like getting the broomstick of the wicked witch.

But hopefully you will leave your therapeutic experience

with the knowledge intact that you have what you need

to know, that you have what you need to feel, and that

you are who you need to be.  🙂

 

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